Published: Wed, July 05, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Peter Sagan elbows Mark Cavendish, booted from Tour De France

Peter Sagan elbows Mark Cavendish, booted from Tour De France

Peter Sagan's hockey move at the end of Stage 4 got him booted from the 2017 Tour de France on Tuesday.

Cavendish was taken to hospital with hand and shoulder injuries.

"I was massively grateful that Peter came directly after the finish to see me - I have a good relationship with Peter". Sagan drifted into Cavendish's line, and appeared to have his elbow out as he bumped into Cavendish, but Cavendish may have made contact first, forcing Sagan to throw out his elbow to balance his bike.

Following the end of the stage the pair spoke and Sagan went to Cavendish's Dimension Data team bus to apologise in person. "A crash is a crash but I'd just like to know about that elbow really".

"In terms of pain-wise, I've done my shoulder twice before and I'm in more pain now than I was for one of my shoulders - that doesn't make me too optimistic, just on feeling, but I'm not a doctor", he said.

Cavendish demanded an explanation from Sagan, telling TV cameras as he was being led away that he definitely needs stitches in this finger, it's bleeding a lot.

Here, the Manxman fell in the second of two late crashes on the stage from Mondorf-les-Bains, with the other sending race leader Geraint Thomas of Team Sky to the ground in the yellow jersey.

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He was coming from behind, I did not have time to react and go left, he said.

"The shoulder", Cavendish, 32, told reporters, referencing the right shoulder, on which he's had surgery to replace a ligament. The 30-time stage victor said Sagan came across to apologise, but questioned the elbow.

Sagan took second place with Norway's Alexander Kristoff third on the stage.

The 27-year-old Slovak, who rides for Bora-Hansgrohe, powered over the line in front of Australia's Michael Matthews, with Ireland's Dan Martin third.

Thomas leads by seven seconds from Sagan, with Froome staying 12 seconds down. His win allowed him to claim the sprinters' green jersey from German Marcel Kittel, victor of Sunday's second stage but who was held up by the first crash and unable to contest the sprint. "I hit the deck but I'm fine", Thomas said. "I'm delighted", Sagan said.

The last time the Tour de France ended in Vittel, back in 2009, Nicki Sorensen took the plaudits having been involved in a six-man breakaway, but a repeat solo effort never looked like threatening the sprinters.

The 160.5-kilometer (100-mile) leg begins in Vittel and winds its way to La Planche Des Belles Filles with a short but steep finishing ascent that features a leg-breaking 20-percent gradient in the final meters.

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